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Frederick (Fred) Schwegel
Frederick (Fred) Schwegel
Frederick (Fred) Schwegel

Frederick (Fred) Schwegel, of Dawsonville, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 31 at his home in Dawsonville. 

It had been Fred’s wish that when his time came that he be at home when it happened with his loving and devoted daughter, Debbie, by his side.  He got that wish.

In July of 2019 following back surgery from a fall, Fred started showing signs of what ended up being a rare, incurable and fast acting brain disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).  He was officially diagnosed with CJD in September.  CJD affects only about one in every 1,000,000 people in the world every year. It can hide in the body unseen for decades until something, such as a fall or surgery, sets it in motion.

Fred was born in Millville, NJ on Thursday, April 24, 1941.  He was the son of the late Fred and Irma Mae Schwegel.  He was preceded in death by his wife Betty, brother Paul and sisters Ann and Mary. 

Fred had a bright and energetic personality.  He loved to laugh and throughout his life Fred was always the life of any party.  He was always ready to dance as soon as the music started and was first on the dance floor – even if that meant making one.

Besides spending time with his family and friends, Fred loved to run.  In July 2019 at 78 years old, Fred completed his 38th Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.  Fred had also completed marathons in Atlanta, Bermuda and New York.  For over 40 years, lacing up his running shoes and heading to Stone Mountain park to run and train with his fellow Sumo Runners was one of the great joys of his life.

Fred is survived by his daughter Debbie Buchanan, the “son he never wanted” as he would joke Herman Thompson, ex-wife Faye and stepson Craig, his girlfriend Janet and dog Angel, sister and brother-in-laws Bertha, Ronnie, Herschel, Rose and Ellis, as well as many nephews, nieces and cousins.  He was a caring and giving man that was loved by all his family and friends.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life gathering at Bearden’s Funeral Home in Dawsonville on Sunday, Nov. 24 from 2-4 p.m.  Please come and share your stories about Fred. 

In lieu of flowers the family asks that a donation be made to the American Cancer Society, the Heart Association, the Humane Society or the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation (

Bearden Funeral Home of Dawsonville was in charge of the arrangements.